Not all home upgrades are potential budget busters

Anna & Alex Carbonell Realtors
Published on July 6, 2022

Not all home upgrades are potential budget busters

Go online and run a search for “recommended home improvements to sell my home,” and you can find a seemingly-endless list of tasks to perform. In fact, our Google search brought us 853,000,000 results.

What many home sellers seem to forget, however, is that well-worn adage “All real estate is local.”

So, while some home improvement tasks may be ideal for Topeka, and others will fulfill the dreams of homebuyers in Phoenix, they may be a waste of time and money here in our neck of the woods.

And, isn’t your end goal to make as much money as possible from the sale of your home?

Ask most real estate agents which improvements will give you the most bang for your buck and they’ll most likely rattle off whatever is on the latest list of improvements published by the National Association of Home Builders.

We keep track, however, of local trends and can tell you exactly which improvements have led to success for other local homeowners.

Choose upgrades based on your most likely buyer

Not all of our clients want to take on the extra work required to spiff up their home’s appeal. If you aren’t among that group, you may be surprised to learn that many fixes or upgrades require a minimal investment of time and money.

For instance, do you understand who your most likely buyer is? Someone shopping for a luxury home, for instance, may not appreciate improvements made to attract a condo buyer.

Based on research and experience in the local market, we can pinpoint from which buyer pool your buyer will come. When you know your most likely buyer’s hot buttons, the needed improvement list practically writes itself.

Additional inexpensive projects to consider include:

  • Interior cleaning by a professional
  • Interior painting
  • Curb appeal improvements (green-up the lawn, paint the fence, prune trees, add fresh mulch to the beds)

If your budget is exceptionally tight, the bare minimum you should do is to ensure the entire interior of the home is light and bright.

  • Remove and replace heavy window coverings with lighter material.
  • Replace low wattage light bulbs with those that emit brighter light.
  • If the walk-in closets lack lighting, install some.
  • Wash the windows to allow in as much natural light as possible.

If you have room in your budget, consider these upgrades

Not all homes for sale are starter homes, so not all buyers are seeking the same upgrades.

Move-up homebuyers are most keen about kitchen improvements, with countertops and cabinets at the top of the list. Nearly half of those surveyed also mentioned bathroom upgrades and new, energy efficient HVAC systems. Next on the list were plumbing and electrical upgrades.

Yes, these are a bit pricier than those we mentioned earlier. But even the less expensive fixes can make a world of difference in how the home shows to potential buyers. This difference may result in a bigger check for you at closing.

Reach out to us to learn more.


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